Friday, July 1, 2016

[Herpetology • 2016] Vipera walser • A New Vertebrate for Europe: The Discovery of A Range-restricted Relict Viper in the western Italian Alps

Vipera walser
Ghielmi, Menegon, Marsden, Laddaga & Ursenbacher, 2016

We describe Vipera walser, a new viper species from the north-western Italian Alps. Despite an overall morphological resemblance with Vipera berus, the new species is remarkably distinct genetically from both V. berus and other vipers occurring in western Europe and shows closer affinities to species occurring only in the Caucasus. Morphologically, the new species appear to be more similar to V. berus than to its closest relatives occurring in the Caucasus, but can be readily distinguished in most cases by a combination of meristic features as confirmed by discriminant analysis. The extant population shows a very low genetic variability measured with mitochondrial markers, suggesting that the taxon has suffered a serious population reduction/bottleneck in the past. The species is extremely range-restricted (less than 500 km2) and occurs only in two disjunct sites within the high rainfall valleys of the Alps north of Biella. This new species should be classified as globally ‘endangered’ due to its small and fragmented range, and an inferred population decline. The main near-future threats to the species are habitat changes associated with reduced grazing, along with persecution and collecting.

Keywords: Vipers; Vipera berusVipera walser; reptile conservation; new species; bPTP species delimitation model; Alps; biogeography; climate change

Vipera walser
Ghielmi, Menegon, Marsden, Laddaga & Ursenbacher, 2016 

Figure 6. Pattern variation in adult male (left) and adult female (right) of Vipera walser sp. nov.

Figure 7. Variation in head scalation in adult female (upper four photographs) and adult male (lower four photographs) of Vipera walser sp. nov.
 DOI: 10.1111/jzs.12138  


Vipera walser
Ghielmi, Menegon, Marsden, Laddaga & Ursenbacher sp. nov. 

Holotype: Adult female: MSNG34485, collected in S. Giovanni d'Andorno, on the road to Oropa in the Biella prealps, at about 1300 m a.s.l. by A. Rosazza in the summer of 1930 (Fig. 5).

Paratypes: One adult male: MSNG33638M collected at Monte Rosso del Croso, on 30 August 1933. One juvenile male: MSNG33637B and one subadult male: MSNG30818C collected at Alpe Finestre by Felice Capra, respectively, on 28 July 1930 and 15 August 1928. One adult female: MSNG30818A, one subadult female: MSNG30818B, and two juvenile females: MSNG33637C and MSNG33637D collected by Felice Capra at Alpe Finestre between August 1928 and August 1939. One juvenile female: MSNG30286 collected by F. Capra at Monte Rosso del Croso on 12 September 1934; one adult female MSNG33637A collected by F. Capra at Alpe le Piane on 5 August 1937; one adult female MSNG41663 collected by A. Margiocco at Piedicavallo in September 1967.

Type locality: San Giovanni d'Andorno, strada per Oropa at 1300 m a.s.l. in the Alps north of town of Biella, a subrange of the Pennine Alps, north-western Italy.

Differential diagnosis: Vipera walser sp. nov. is generally similar to the species of the subgenus Pelias and can be confused with V. berus, which co-occurs on the Alps in allopatry (Fig. 6, Table 2). The species differs in a generalized higher count of cephalic scales, in particular the ones listed below (V. berus in parentheses): higher number of crown scales: 7–30, mean 17.4 (versus 4–22, mean 13.0); loreals: 4–15, mean 9.36 (versus 2–12, mean 6.72); and, to a lesser extent, perioculars: 16–23, mean 19.8 (versus 13–23, mean 18.4) (see Table 2). V. walser, in contrast to V. berus, also shows a marked tendency towards fragmentation of the cephalic large shields: the parietal scales are often completely broken down into several smaller scales: 2–14, mean 6.3 (versus 2–10, mean 2.4; see also Fig. 7). Less commonly, also the frontal scale is fragmented into smaller scales. Some individuals exhibit a dorsum of the head covered in small, irregular scales, like in V. aspis. V. walser has between 1.5 and 2 rows of subocular scales on both sides of the head in 85% of the analysed specimens (V. berus has typically one row of suboculars, with the exception of some populations in the southern Alps). The dorsal zigzag is often broken down into separate bars as in Vipera aspis (Linnaeus, 1758) or Vipera berus bosniensis (see Fig. 6). Despite the lack of a strictly diagnostic morphological character, V. walser can be readily distinguished from populations of V. berus from Central and northern Europe by a combination of several characters (e.g. the number of subocular scales, fragmentation of parietals and number of apicals). Identification based solely on observation of external morphology is less obvious if individuals of V. berus from southern Alps are considered. Despite this, discriminant analysis correctly identified individuals to species in 94% of females and 88% of males, based on a set of analysed characters (see Figs 2 and 3). The mean p-distance, based on a combined dataset of about 3000 base pairs of mitochondrial genes, between V. berus and V. walser is 5.36%. Based on our current knowledge of its distribution, Vipera walser is restricted to the Alps north of town of Biella, a subrange of the Pennine Alps, west of the river Ticino, north-western Italy (Fig. 8).

Etymology: Vipera walser sp. nov. is named after, and dedicated to, the Walser people with whom it shares an extraordinary beautiful and wild area of the south-western Alps.

Figure 8. Currently known extent of occurrence of Vipera walser sp. nov. (in blue) and V. berus (in red) in north western Italy
 DOI: 10.1111/jzs.12138  

Figure 6. Pattern variation in adult male (left) and adult female (right) of Vipera walser sp. nov.
Figure 9. Habitat of Vipera walser sp. nov; Valle Mastallone at 2,070 m (left) and Valle Strona at about 1,800 m (right)

The present study described and named a new viper species, V. walser, which shows strong genetic divergence and clear morphological differentiation from all other known European viper species. The new taxon occurs in a restricted area of the south-western Italian Alps and shows close affinities with the Caucasian species V. dinniki, V. darevskii and V. kaznakovi, opening unexpected and interesting biogeographic scenarios. The very small extent of occurrence of the new species implies a particularly high threat level, and thus conservation managements should be developed. The protection of its habitat, the limitation of the forest regrowth, but also the evaluation of its likely future distribution given climatic changes (for the long term) or struggle against culling (short term) are key elements to investigate. Involvement of local authorities, foundations and other stakeholders will be crucial in realizing effective protection of this species.

Samuele Ghielmi, Michele Menegon, Stuart J. Marsden, Lorenzo Laddaga and Sylvain Ursenbacher. 2016. A New Vertebrate for Europe: The Discovery of A Range-restricted Relict Viper in the western Italian Alps. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research.  54(3); 161–173.  DOI: 10.1111/jzs.12138

[Botany • 2013] Bulbophyllum aureoflavum • A New Orchid of the Genus Bulbophyllum (Orchidaceae) from Western Ghats of Southern India

Bulbophyllum aureoflavum  
Karuppusamy & Ravichandran 


Bulbophyllum aureoflavum, a new orchid from Western Ghats of southern India, is described and illustrated. The new species, Bulbophyllum aureoflavum, is rare and known presently only from the type locality in southern Western Ghats. This species is related to B. elegantulum and B. fischeri, but differs by having a thick rhizome, subglobose pseudopbulb, bendant filiform scape, and a light golden yellowish, glabrous flower.

Keywords: Bulbophyllum aureoflavum; new species; pantropical; taxonomy

Diagnosis: The species can be differentiated from its allied species only when flowering during the dry months of May and June. The species is easily overlooked because its small bulbs and leaves are similar to those of Bulbophyllum elegantulum J. J. Sm. and B. fischeri Seidenf. Bulbophyllum aureoflavum which can be distinguished by its long, filiform, pendent, 12-flowered scape and by its golden yellowish, elliptic, connate, glabrous, and lateral sepals. Haec species Bulbophyllum elegantulum et B. fischeri similes, rhizome crassis, pseudobulbis subglobosis, scapus filiformis, flores aureo-flavo, sepalum elongato-ovatum, labello profunde sulcate differt.

Distribution: Endemic to the Munnar-Devicolam Range of Western Ghats, Kerala State, India, growing on shaded rocks at about 1200m. It is known only from the type locality.

Remarks: The present study noticed only 15 well-separated clumps, each of no more than 100 bulbs on shaded rocks next to the road from Devicolam to Poopara. 

S. Karuppusamy and V. Ravichandran. 2013. A New Orchid of the Genus Bulbophyllum (Orchidaceae) from Western Ghats of Southern India.
  TAPROBANICA. 5(2); 120-123. DOI:  10.4038/tapro.v5i2.6285 

[Botany • 2016] Bulbophyllum pingnanense • A New Species (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae, Dendrobiinae) from Fujian, China

Bulbophyllum pingnanense 
J.F. Liu, S.R. Lan & Y.C. Liang

A new orchid species, Bulbophyllum pingnanense, is described and illustrated from Fujian, China. It is similar to B. brevipedunculatum and B. albociliatum in vegetative and floral morphology, but it can be distinguished from Bbrevipedunculatum by having a longer dorsal sepal with longer white ciliate on margin, longer and lanceolate lateral sepals, and a glabrous lip. It can be distinguished from B. albociliatum by having a shorter inflorescence, and a longer dorsal sepal.

Keywords: Bulbophyllum, Eastern China, Fujian, Orchidaceae


Bulbophyllum pingnanense J.F. Liu, S.R. Lan & Y.C. Liang, sp. nov. 

Type: China. Fujian: Pingnan County, Shuangxi Town, on rock along Yuanyan River, 800–900 m, 27°01'N, 119°05'E, 23 June 2013, J.F. Liu 201312 (holotype: FAFU!; isotype: NOCC!).

Bulbophyllum pingnanense is similar to B. brevipedunculatum T.C. Hsu & S.W. Chung and B. albociliatum (T.S. Liu & H.Y. Su) K. Nackejima. It differs from Bbrevipedunculatum by having a longer dorsal sepal with either an obtuse or an acute apex and longer white ciliate on margins; longer and lanceolate lateral sepals; and glabrous lip. It can be distinguished from B. albociliatum by its shorter inflorescence, a longer dorsal sepal with either an obtuse or an acute apex.

Figure 2. Bulbophyllum pingnanense J.F. Liu, S.R. Lan & Y.C. Liang.
A habitat and habit B–D flower E dorsal sepal F lateral sepal G petal H lip I lip, column, pedicel and ovary, side view J pollinia and anther cap. 

Etymology: The species epithet refers to Pingnan County where this new species was found.

 Distribution and habitat Bulbophyllum pingnanense is so far only known within Pingnan, Fujian, China (Fig. 3). It is epiphytic on steep rock in the edge of evergreen coniferous and broad-leaved mixed forest, which is mainly composed of Castanopsis eyrei (Champ. ex Benth.) Hutch. (Fagaceae), Cunninghamia lanceolata (Lamb.) Hook. (Taxodiaceae). Other orchids, Amitostigma gracile (Bl.) Schltr., Pholidota cantonensis Rolfe, Cymbidium floribundum Lindl. and Pleione formosana Hayata, were found growing nearby this new species.

Phenology: Flowering from June to July.

Conservation status: Bulbophyllum pingnanense is known only from the type locality, and only one population of ca. 3000 individual plants was discovered in a small area of ca. 0.002 km2 during two years of botanical surveys. Based on the extent of occurrence estimated to be less than 100 km2 (CR B1) and the area of occupancy less than 10 km2 (CR B2), species existing at a single location (CR B1a + B2a), B. pingnanense is assigned a preliminary status of Critically Endangered (CR B1a + B2a) according to the IUCN Categories and Criteria (IUCN 2012). In addition, the plants of Bulbophyllum are used as herbal medicine in the locality. It is possible that B. pingnanense might also be collected for using as herbal medicine. Therefore, immediate conservation strategy should be taken.

 Jiangfeng Liu, Si-Ren Lan, Bi-Zhu He and Yi-Chi Liang. 2016. Bulbophyllum pingnanense (Orchidaceae, Epidendroideae, Dendrobiinae), A New Species from Fujian, China. PhytoKeys. 65: 107-112. DOI:  10.3897/phytokeys.65.8254

[Crustacea • 2016] Coenobita lila • A New Species of Land Hermit Crab in the Genus Coenobita Latreille, 1829 (Decapoda: Anomura: Coenobitidae) from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, previously confused with C. cavipes Stimpson, 1858

Coenobita lila Rahayu, Shih & Ng, 2016 [A, B, C]
previously confused with C. cavipes Stimpson, 1858 [E]

 A new species of land hermit crab in the genus Coenobita Latreille, 1829 (Anomura: Coenobitidae), Coenobita lila, is described from Singapore and adjacent countries. The new species has previously been confused with C. cavipes Stimpson, 1858, but they can be distinguished by the former possessing dense tubercles on the outer face of the palm of the left cheliped and the presence of a large sternal protuberance between the male fifth pereopods. Recognition of the new species is further supported by molecular data. In this study, the presence of C. cavipes in Taiwan is confirmed, and the status of C. baltzeri Neumann, 1878, is discussed.

Key words: Land hermit crab, taxonomy, Coenobita lila, new species, C. cavipesC. baltzeri, molecular data

Fig. 11. A–CCoenobita lila n. sp. A, holotype male (sl 16.7 mm) (ZRC); B, paratype ovigerous female (sl 10.8 mm) (ZRC); C, female (sl 11.8 mm) (ZRC);
 D–F, C. cavipes Stimpson, 1858, Houwan, Kenting, Pingtung, Taiwan (NCHUZOOL 13637). D, female (sl 13.8 mm); E, female (sl 13.5 mm); F, female (sl 14.9 mm). 


Family Coenobitidae Dana, 1851
Genus Coenobita Latreille, 1829

Coenobita lila n. sp.
(Figs. 1–3, 4A–C, 5A–C, 6A–C, 10, 11A–C)
Coenobita cavipes – Lim et al., 1994: 29, 1 un-numbered fig.; Ng & Sivasothi, 1999: 85, 1 un-numbered fig.; Ng et al., 2007: 69. (not Coenobita cavipes Stimpson, 1858).
Coenobita rugosus – Ng et al., 2007: 70, 71, 3 un-numbered figs. (not Coenobita rugosus H. Milne Edwards, 1837).
Coenobita purpureus – Ng et al., 2008: 107, 2 un-numbered figs. (not Coenobita purpureus Stimpson, 1858).

Etymology. The name is derived from the Latin “lila” for lilac or light purple, alluding to the live colour of adult individuals. The name is used as noun in apposition.

Habitat. Upper intertidal to 100 m inland from the beach, sometimes crowding in the supralittoral grass beds or under stones during the day. It is typically found in reef habitats, but may also occur at the edge of mangroves and other estuarine habitats. It is the only species of Coenobita found in Singapore thus far.

Distribution. Singapore; Malaysia; and Indonesia.

Rahayu, D. L,. H.-T. Shih and P. K. L. Ng. 2016. A New Species of Land Hermit Crab in the Genus Coenobita Latreille, 1829 from Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, previously confused with C. cavipes Stimpson, 1858 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Anomura: Coenobitidae).
 The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology.   34 (Part II): 470–488. 

[Ichthyology • 2011] Stenolicmus ix • A New Species of Sand-dwelling Catfish of the genus Stenolicmus (Siluriformes; Trichomycteridae) from Igarapé Curuá, left tributary of the Rio Amazonas, Pará, Brazil

Stenolicmus ix 
Wosiacki, Coutinho & de Assis Montag, 2011 


Stenolicmus ix, new species, is described from Igarapé Curuá, left tributary of the Rio Amazonas, Pará, Brazil. It can be distinguished from S. sarmientoi by the length of the nasal barbels that reach the base of the first opercular odontodes; length of the maxillary barbels that reach the posterior margin of the opercular odontode plate; seven well-developed opercular odontodes; seven well-developed interopercular odontodes; color pattern of the dorsal region of trunk composed of agglomerated chromatophores forming circular patches twice the diameter of the eye; proportionally large eyes, 11.8% HL; caudal peduncle tall, 11.6% SL, without dark bar at base of the caudal fin; length of the head proportionately larger, 17.9% SL; unbranched rays of caudal fin reaching distal margin of fin. Comparisons with other Sarcoglanidinae and Trichomycteridae are presented. Some comments on the systematics and phylogenetic relationships of the group are made.

Keywords: New catfish; Sarcoglanidinae; lower Amazon basin

Wolmar Benjamin Wosiacki, Daniel Pires Coutinho and Luciano Fogaça de Assis Montag. 2011. Description of A New Species of Sand-dwelling Catfish of the genus Stenolicmus (Siluriformes; Trichomycteridae). Zootaxa.

Jaguar-like species of catfish discovered in the Amazon

[Ichthyology • 2016] Teleocichla preta • A New Species of Cichlid (Teleostei: Cichlidae) from the Rio Xingu Basin in Brazil

Teleocichla preta  
  Varella, Zuanon, Kullander & López-Fernández, 2016 
DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13053 

Teleocichla preta nov. sp. inhabits the rapids along the Rio Xingu and lower portion of the Rio Iriri. It is the largest species in the genus, reaching 121·3 mm standard length (LS) while others do not reach more than 87·8 mm LS. Teleocichla preta is distinguished from all other species of Teleocichla by the unique blackish (in live specimens) or dark brown (preserved specimens) overall colouration of the body, which masks the faint vertical bars or zig-zag pattern of blotches on the flanks. Teleocichla preta also has a deeper body and a deep laterally compressed caudal peduncle, unlike any other congener, as well as a stout lower pharyngeal tooth plate bearing molariform teeth on its median area.

Keywords: Amazon basin; durophagy; endemism; rapids; rheophilic species; taxonomy

Teleocichla preta nov. sp.

Teleocichla PR Zuanon, 1999: 48 (diagnosis, schematic illustration and aspects of natural history of the species). 
Teleocichla sp. Xingu II (or Schwarzel Teleocichla) Stawikowski & Werner, 2004: 247 (comments on distinctive characteristics and ecology of the species, photographs of live specimens). 
Teleocichla sp. preta Arbour & López-Fernández, 2013: 4. Arbour & López-Fernández, 2014: 7 (inclusion of the species in biomechanical analyses in the context of the Crenicichla clade and of other Neotropical lineages of Cichlidae, respectively).

Distribution: Teleocichla preta is known from the Rio Xingu between Cachoeira Chadasinho upstream of São Félix do Xingu and Cachoeira do Jericoá at Volta Grande do Xingu downstream of Altamira, Pará State. The species is also known from the lower portion of the Rio Iriri, the largest tributary of the Rio Xingu (Fig. 4).

Figure 5. (ad) Typical moderate to fast, shallow rapids at Cachoeira Grande in the Rio Iriri, Rio Xingu basin in which Teleocichla preta is found.
Underwater photographs of typical substratum with (e) an adult individual and (f) a pair of T. preta in the Rio Xingu, Altamira.
Habitat and natural history: In the region of Volta Grande do Xingu and the lower Rio Iriri, specimens of T. preta were collected in moderate to fast, shallow rapids [Fig. 5(a)–(d)], with clear water and the riverbed composed mainly of large rocks and little accumulated sediment [Fig. 5(e), (f)]. During underwater exploration by snorkelling, individuals of T. preta were observed performing short excursions out of their rocky hideouts, moving alone amidst small rocks and in crevices of large rocks (J. Zuanon. and H. R. Varella, pers. obs).

Etymology: The specific epithet preta, an adjective of the Portuguese language that means black, refers to the diagnostic dark overall colouration of the body and to the previous denominations for the species in the scientific and aquarium literature, as well as among fishermen of the Rio Xingu. Noun in apposition.

H. R. Varella, J. Zuanon, S. O. Kullander and H. López-Fernández. 2016. Teleocichla preta, A New Species of Cichlid from the Rio Xingu Basin in Brazil (Teleostei: Cichlidae). Journal of Fish Biology.   DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13053

[Herpetology • 2016] Taxonomy and Natural History of Eutropis beddomei (Jerdon, 1870) (Reptilia: Scincidae), including a Redescription of the Holotype

Euprepes beddomei 
(Jerdon, 1870)


Euprepes beddomei was described by Jerdon (1870) from “Mysore” (Karnataka State, India). Simultaneously, Euprepes (Tiliqua) septemlineatus, which is morphologically similar to E. beddomei, was described by Blanford (1870) based on a single specimen collected from the Ganga River Valley, Southeast Berar, Madhya Pradesh, India. Smith (1935) synonymised the latter species (published in September, 1870) with Euprepes beddomei which in turn was published earlier (March, 1870). Jerdon’s publication should therefore be given priority. A comprehensive comparison between the holotypes of the above two species confirms that E. septemlineatus is a junior synonym of E. beddomei. Based on morphological characters, Eutropis beddomei is here clearly identified and can be considered a widespread species in India and Sri Lanka. The original description of E. beddomei is very short and lacks a description containing most of the important diagnostic characters; hence, we hereby provide a comprehensive description of the species based on the examination of its holotype.

Keywords: Reptilia, Biogeography, Euprepes, India, Mabuya, species complex, Sri Lanka, synonymy

A.A. Thasun Amarasinghe, Patrick D. Campbell, S. R. Chandramouli, Kaushik Deuti, Sujoy Raha, D.M.S. Suranjan Karunarathna and Ineich Ivan. 2016. Taxonomy and Natural History of Eutropis beddomei (Jerdon, 1870) (Reptilia: Scincidae), including a Redescription of the Holotype. Zootaxa. 4132(4); DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4132.4.3

Thursday, June 30, 2016

[Ichthyology • 2016] Eviota erdmanni • A New Dwarfgoby (Teleostei: Gobiidae) from the Savu Sea, Flores, Indonesia

A uniquely colored dwarfgoby, Eviota erdmanni n. sp., with a cup-like urogenital papilla in males, a cephalic sensory-canal pore system lacking only the IT pore (pattern 2), some branched pectoral-fin rays, and a dorsal/anal fin-ray formula of 9/8 is described from south Flores, Indonesia. We use molecular data from both mitochondrial and nuclear genes to infer the phylogenetic relationship of the new species with respect to its congeners, with specific emphasis on species with uniquely shaped urogenital papillae.

Key words: taxonomy, systematics, phylogenetics, coral-reef fishes, gobies, Pacific Ocean, urogenital papilla, molecular data.

 Luke Tornabene and David W Greenfield. 2016. Eviota erdmanni (Teleostei: Gobiidae), A New Dwarfgoby from the Savu Sea, Flores, Indonesia. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation. 22, 1–9. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.56572


[Botany • 2014] Hechtia flexilifolia, H. huamelulaensis & H. nivea • Three New Species and Growth Patterns in Hechtia (Bromeliaceae: Hechtioideae) from Oaxaca, Mexico

Three new species of Hechtia from the Mexican State of Oaxaca are herein proposed as new: Hechtia flexilifolia, H. huamelulaensis, and H. nivea, from the physiogeographical provinces of Mixteca Alta, Costas del Sur, and Sierras Centrales de Oaxaca respectively. All three species are described and illustrated. Iconography provided features plants in habitat and under cultivation. An assessment of their conservation status sensu IUCN criteria is presented as well. We also discuss and illustrate the three growth patterns identified at this time in the genus.

Keywords: Diversity, endemism, growth patterns, IUCN, Oaxaca, physiogeographical regions

Hechtia flexilifolia I. Ramírez & Carnevali, spec. nov. 
This new species is characterized by an unique combination of characters: leaves numerous, (20–)30–40 in number, proportionally long, narrow, flexible, margins densely spinose, abaxial epidermis glossy and wrinkled, shedding when dry, staminate inflorescence a 1–2 times divided panicle, with a long peduncle, branches at first secund, then horizontal, branches densely flowered, cylindrical, rachis green, sulcate, sterile bases of branches bracteate, petals white.

Distribution and habitat:— Hechtia flexilifolia is known from a restricted geographical area near the village of Yosondúa, where it grows in close sympatry with H. nuusaviorum Espejo & López-Ferr. in Espejo et al. (2007b: 98). There it grows as a lithophyte on steep or vertical rock walls, at an elevation of ca. 1970 m, surrounded by humid forest. Most collections have been made from around the Yosondúa waterfalls, a well-known touristic site.

Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the flexible foliar blades, an unique feature in the genus in Oaxaca since the rest of the species have succulent, rigid, inflexible leaves.

IUCN Conservation assessment:— Vulnerable (VU). Hechtia flexilifolia meets criteria D2 of the IUCN (2010). The species is known from an area of less than 2 km2 within which it occurs only at a handful of small sites. Albeit local populations of the species can be rich in individuals and are often inaccessible, they are widely dispersed and isolated on the slopes and cliffs of the mountainous landscape.

Hechtia huamelulaensis I. Ramírez & Carnevali, spec. nov. 
 A species similar to Hechtia glauca but leaves dull matte green (vs. glaucous), the leaf margins not undulate (vs. undulate throughout), without tufts of hairs in axils of spines (vs. with tuft of hairs in axils of spines); peduncle of the pistillate inflorescence 20–23 cm long (vs. 40–75.5 cm long); staminate sepals 2.5–3.4 mm long (vs. 1.6–2.2 mm long), pistillate floral bracts longer (2.4–4.7 mm vs. 1–2.3 mm long); fruits ellipsoid, not pendulous, 9–12.3 x 4.5–5.7 mm (vs. ovoid, pendulous, (8)9–12 x 3.5–5 mm).

Distribution:— Hechtia huamelulaensis occurs in the southeastern area of the State of Oaxaca (Fig. 3), on the Pacific slopes of the Tehuantepec Isthmus, an area belonging to the Costas del Sur Physiogeographical Province (Cervantes-Zamora et al., 1990). So far it is only known from the vicinity of the village of San Pedro Huamelula in the municipality of the same name. The area where this species has been found coincides with a relatively small patch of hot arid climate (type BSo(h’)w), which is embedded within a more extensive region of tropical subhumid climate (García 1998). At this single locality, H. huamelulaensis grows in xerophytic vegetation at an elevation of ca. 60 m and is associated with such other plants as Agave ghiesbreghtii Lemaire ex Jacobi (1864:545), Plumeria rubra Linnaeus (1753: 209), Opuntia decumbens Salm-Reifferscheid-Dyck (1834: 361), and a laxly-flowered form of Hechtia rosea.

Etymology:— The epithet refers to the locality where the new species was collected, San Pedro Huamelula in Oaxaca, Mexico.

IUCN Conservation assessment:— Vulnerable (VU). Hechtia huamelulaensis meets criteria D2 of the IUCN (2010). The species is known from an area of less than 2 within which it occurs only at a handful of small sites. Albeit local populations of the species can be rich in individuals and are often inaccessible, they are widely scattered and isolated on the slopes and tops of small rocky hills.

Hechtia nivea I. Ramírez & C. F. Jiménez, spec. nov. 
 This new species is similar to Hechtia nuusaviorum in its inflorescence architecture and condensed, conical or cylindrical branches in both sexes; however the new species differ in that foliar blades are 21–39 x 1.3–2.9 cm (vs. 30–75 x 1.5–4.5 cm), densely white lepidote on both surfaces (vs. glabrous above and white lepidote abaxially); staminate inflorescences are denser, featuring ca. 12 branches in a rachis of 20 cm length (vs. 5 branches in the same length), branches 1.2–3 × 1–1.4 cm (vs. 4 cm long × 2.5 wide), primary bracts much longer than or equaling the branch length (vs. always shorter than the branches); pistillate inflorescences are denser with ca. 16 branches in 20 cm length (vs. ca. 5), primary bracts vary from shorter to longer than the branches (vs. always shorter), branches are cylindrical, and up to 2.4 cm long (vs. 3 cm long and spheroid), floral bracts are equaling the flower, petals green, ovary reddish, and stigma white (vs. floral bracts shorter than the petals, petals white, ovary and stigma white in H. nuusaviorum).

Distribution and habitat:— Hechtia nivea is known from a restricted geographical area in the vicinity of the village of San Pedro Nodón. It grows as a lithophyte on vertical walls where rosettes resemble silver stars from afar. It also grows at the foothills in a general area of low caducifolious forest along with species of Agave Linnaeus (1753: 323) (Agavaceae), Brahea Martius (1838: 243) (Arecaceae), Cnidoscolus Pohl (1827: 56) (Euphorbiaceae) and Bursera Jacquin ex Linnaeus (1762: 471) (Burseraceae), at elevations of about 1700 m. Hechtia nivea was collected in bloom during April 2013 and several plants of it are currently under cultivation.

 Etymology:— The specific epithet refers to the white indumentum of the leaves lending the plant a snowy aspect.

IUCN Conservation assessment:— Vulnerable (VU). Hechtia nivea meets criteria D2 of the IUCN (2001). The species is known from an area of less than 2 within which it occurs only at a handful of small sites. Albeit local populations of the species can be rich in individuals and are often inaccessible, they are widely scattered and isolated on the slopes and tops of small hills where they are susceptible to fires and other anthropogenic disturbances.

Ivon Ramirez, Carlos F. Jiménez, Germán Carnevali and Juan Pablo Pinzón. 2014.  Three New Species and Growth Patterns in Hechtia (Bromeliaceae: Hechtioideae). Phytotaxa. 178(2):113.  DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.178.2.3

[Botany • 2013] Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii • A New Species of Hechtia (Bromeliaceae) from southwestern Tamaulipas, Mexico

FIGURE 1. Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii I. Ramírez, C. F. Jiménez & Treviño (A, C, E).

A. Plant in habit. C. Young staminate inflorescence showing white indumentum. E. Staminate branch. F. Pistillate branch.

Hechtia glomerata Zucc(B, D). 
B . Plant in habit, see rosette shape and leaf color. D. Staminate (above) and pistillate (below) flowers.
Photographs A, B, C, D by Ivón Ramirez; E by Jacinto Treviño Carreón

A new species of Hechtia from the Mexican State of Tamaulipas is herein proposed as new: Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii, which is known only from the municipality of Villa de Miquihuana in the southwestern portion of the state. The new species is easily recognized by the following combination of characters: its white cotton-like indument (turning brownish with age) on the branches, rachis, and peduncle of both staminate and pistillate inflorescences. The new taxon is compared with H. glomerata, a species morphologically similar.

Keywords: Dioecy, endemism, Hechtia glomerata, IUCN, lateral inflorescence

FIGURE 1. Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii (A, C, E, F). A. Plant in habit. C. Young staminate inflorescence showing white indumentum. E. Staminate branch. F. Pistillate branch. 
Hechtia glomerata (B, D).  B. Plant in habit, see rosette shape and leaf color. D. Staminate (above) and pistillate (below) flowers.
Photographs A, B, C, D by Ivón Ramirez; E and F by Jacinto Treviño Carreón.  

Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii   I. Ramírez, C. F. Jiménez & Treviño
Species similar to Hechtia glomerata Zucc. in its acaule rosettes with narrowly triangular blades, glabrous above, densely white lepidote below, lateral inflorescence, and staminate and pistillate flowers with white petals. However, H. hernandez-sandovalii presents branches of the inflorescence densely covered with a initially white indumentum that turns brownish with age and flowers totally immersed in it (vs. thin indumentums and flowers not immersed in it), rosettes taller than wide, leaves erect, falcate, laminae green, never developing red color (vs. rosette ellipsoid, wider than tall, leaves horizontally extended, apices deflexed, leaves green, shiny above, usually develop red color in H. glomerata); foliar sheaths shorter (2.5–3 cm vs. 3–6 cm in H. glomerata); floral parts (floral bracts, petals, sepals, ovary, anthers, and staminodes) and fruits larger, but seeds smaller in H. hernandez-sandovalii.

Etymology:— We dedicate this species to Luis G. Hernández Sandoval who collected the type material of this new species.

IUCN   Conservation   assessment:— VU. Hechtia hernandez-sandovalii meets criteria D2 of the IUCN (2001). The species is known from an area of less than 2 km2 within which it occurs only at a handful of small sites. Albeit local populations of the species can be rich in individuals and are often inaccessible, they are widely dispersed and isolated on the slopes and tops of small hills.

Ivón Ramírez Morillo, Carlos F. Jiménez Nah and Jacinto Treviño Carreón. 2013. A New Species of Hechtia (Bromeliaceae) from southwestern Tamaulipas, Mexico.
 Phytotaxa. 112(2); 33–42. DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.112.2.1

[Botany • 2015] Hechtia deceptrix • A New Species of Hechtia (Bromeliaceae: Hechtioideae) from Hidalgo (Mexico)

Hechtia deceptrix  
I. Ramírez & Hornung    DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.221.2.5 

We propose that two populations previously referred to Hechtia epigyna, from the Mexican state of Hidalgo, represent a new species. Plants from the Hidalgo populations share the inferior ovary with Hechtia epigyna, an unusual trait in the genus, but they differ in their growth pattern (central vs. lateral inflorescence), characters of the adaxial foliar surface, petal color, and fruit position during dehiscence. We also provide a clarification on the typification of Hechtia epigyna. An assessment of the conservation status of the new speciesHechtia deceptrix following IUCN criteria resulted as CR (Critically Endangered).

Keywords: Epigynous flowers, growth pattern, Hechtia epigyna, Hidalgo, IUCN, Tamaulipas, Monocots, Mexico

FIGURE 2.  Hechtia deceptrix  I. Ramírez & Hornung
 A. Plants in habitat. B. Comparative size of a staminate inflorescence and rosette. C. Central origin of the inflorescence according to the strict sympodium growth pattern. D. Details of staminate flowers at anthesis. E. Staminate inflorescence showing position of branches and flowers arrangement. F. Pistillate flowers at anthesis.
 Photographs by Claudia T. Hornung-Leoni

Hechtia deceptrix I. Ramírez & Hornung, spec. nov. 
This new species shares with Hechtia epigyna the epigynous flowers but it differs in its larger overall vegetative size, in its strict sympodium growth pattern with terminal inflorescence (vs. pseudomonopodial with lateral inflorescence), glabrous adaxial foliar surface (vs. white lepidote), green petals (vs. pink) in fresh flowers, and erect fruits (vs. pendulous). 

Etymology:— The specific Latin epithet, deceptrix means deceiver, after the fact that the new species was confused with Hechtia epigyna when first collected by A. Espejo and collaborators.

Ivon Ramirez, Claudia T. Hornung-Leoni, Manuel González-Ledesma and Jacinto Treviño. 2015. A New Species of Hechtia (Bromeliaceae: Hechtioideae) from Hidalgo (Mexico).
Phytotaxa. 221(2). DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.221.2.5

[Botany • 2016] Hechtia santanae • An Addition to Genus Hechtia (Hechtioideae; Bromeliaceae) from Jalisco, Mexico

Hechtia santanae  
  I. Ramírez & P. Carrillo DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.266.4.3


A new species of Hechtia (Bromeliaceae, Hechtioideae) from the Mexican State of Jalisco and the physiogeographical province of the Pacific Lowlands, Hechtia santanae, is proposed as new herein. A description is provided, based on male and female plants, including fruits. Specimens of the new species had been identified previously as H. laevis L. B. Smith, a species native of the neighboring state of Colima. Photographs showing diagnostic characters and details of the habitat, and an assessment of the conservation status of the new taxon, based upon the B criteria of the IUCN, are also included.

Keywords: Endemic, gypsum, Hechtia, IUCN, Monocots, Mexico

Ivón Ramírez-Morillo, Pablo Carrillo-Reyes, José L. Tapia Muñoz and William Cetzal-Ix.. 2016.  An Addition to Genus Hechtia (Hechtioideae; Bromeliaceae) from Jalisco, Mexico. Phytotaxa. 266(4); 261–270. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.266.4.3